City of Kamloops reports $130 million in capital project construction since 2021, overall under budget

$130M in capital projects

The City of Kamloops’ capital projects manager says the department has managed about $130 million in projects in the past two years — overall coming in under budget by about $3 million.

“Overall everything looked really good,” Matt Kachel told council during an April 9 meeting.

Kachel noted his report includes capital construction projects which have taken place since December 2021, with costs reconciled up to December 2023.

“We came in under budget, net under budget, by about $3 million — that’s about 3.84 per cent. By comparison to the last report, they were about 2.4 [per cent]. We’re in the ballpark of where other reports have been at, so I was really happy with that,” he said.

These projects include phase two of the Tranquille sanitary main replacement, Valleyview arena roof repairs, McArthur Island pathway, park and dike upgrades, and Riverside Park upgrades.

“I wanted to remind everybody too, what this period captured, which was that rapid inflation where a sheet of plywood went from $35 to $85 and we were still able to come in really, really good on this,” Kachel told council.

He said the department’s largest and most challenging project last year — the $13.7 million Pemberton water system upgrades in Greenstone Park — is also coming in under budget.

The project involved building a new reservoir and booster station and making improvements to water servicing lines. Some blasting work was necessary in order to remove bedrock from the park for the installation of the reservoir.

“When we were putting the pipe in, I don’t know if anybody drove by, but it was quite the sight with all the bedrock we had to remove,” Kachel said.

He said the improvements will allow for water to be moved to different zones throughout the city based on the need — a feature he says will be useful for Kamloops Fire Rescue.

“Everything went really, really well out there. …We’re on to landscaping now, we’re just putting irrigation lines in and putting the park back together, but the water system is functional, the reservoir is in, and the pump station is fully operational,” Kachel said.

He said early discussions with major builders helped the city mitigate and plan for risks.

“Instead of just carrying a huge contingency and hoping for the best, we actually planned out those risks, and if they did happen, then we had budget available to deal with them,” Kachel said.

In a report prepared for the city, staff noted the city was “ahead of the curve” on projects by securing master service agreements — which allowed for collaboration between designers and builders during project planning stages.

“This has resulted in reliable construction schedules, fewer change orders and a sense of ownership by all parties involved,” the report said.

The full capital projects report can be found on the City of Kamloops website, here.

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